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Archive for August, 2009

If you still think Twitter’s all about what-I’m-having-for-breakfast, you probably weren’t following the @StLukesCR Twitter feed this morning and early afternoon:

Surgery tweet

That was the fourth 0f 126 tweets in a live twittercast of a robotic surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids Monday by Sarah Corizzo, media relations specialist/writer for St. Luke’s, author of the @StLukesCR Twitter feed. (more…)

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To read all three of my “mobile-first strategy” posts as a pdf with a table of contents, scroll to the bottom of this post.

When I try out a new app for my iPhone, I think of opportunities the news business missed years ago. More importantly, I think of opportunities we need to pursue today.

Many years ago, before the development of the World Wide Web, I was an editor at the Kansas City Star. Some critics fault newspapers for failing to anticipate the need to move into the digital age, but I remember a project called  StarText. We were planning to deliver the next day’s news stories electronically to subscribers the night before. The stories were just in text and you needed a  modem to receive them and few people had modems then. But we were making our first awkward moves into digital delivery of news. (more…)

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I’ll be teaching Using Social Media for Business three evenings this week, Tuesday through Thursday at Kirkwood Community College (the Marion center). I think you can still register for the course.

The first night, we’ll have a brief overview of why social media are an important development in digital communication and their roots in other forms of communication. Then we’ll spend most of the evening learning about Twitter. Participants will launch their profiles in Twitter, start following people and start learning how to us Twitter in their businesses.

The second evening, we will cover an overview of current social media tools and then split the rest of the evening teaching them Facebook and LinkedIn. Again, they will start their profiles and begin using them for business.

The final evening, they will learn how to create and use a Ning network. They also will spend some time learning to use a social-media tool of their choosing, then report to the class on what they learned and how they might use that tool.

This post will be my tips for getting started in Twitter. It is an updated version of the tips I provided in April for my Twitter for Dummies workshop for Edge Business Magazine. (more…)

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In the spirit of social media, I asked my tweeps for their advice on using social media for business.

I’m teaching a course, Using Social Media for Business, starting Tuesday evening at Kirkwood Community College. I think you can still register for the course. I know a lot about using social media for journalism and I’ve learned a fair amount about using social media for business as well. But I knew the people I follow on Twitter would know way more than I do. So I asked them (I edited their email messages to me slightly; I did not verify statements they made about their businesses or their us of social media): (more…)

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Howard Owens has weighed in with his view on what the newspaper industry’s “Original Sin” was in the early days of the Internet:

Alan Mutter says we screwed up by failing to charge for content. I say not only was that not a mistake, but many newspapers did try to charge for content. I have written that the Original Sin was that we “did next to nothing to explore how we might use this new technology to help businesses connect with customers.”

Howard, publisher of the digital startup The Batavian, contends that a greater error was keeping our online units “tethered to the mother ship.” Howard, one of the most insightful people working in digital journalism, makes an excellent case in his blog that we would have done a better job in moving into the digital age by spinning our web sites off into standalone companies. (more…)

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I was privileged yesterday to be panelist for a discussion about the future of journalism education. I am pleased that journalism educators are considering the important issues for the future of journalism and the news business and hopeful that this means they will be teaching the right issues and skills and contributing valuable research.

I attended a meeting in Chicago of the Accreditation Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the body that sets curriculum standards for teaching journalism in universities. The same day as the group was meeting, Ernest Wilson, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, asked in a centerpiece for Poynter Online, “Where are J-Schools in Great Debate over Journalism’s Future?

I believe journalism schools need to play a stronger role than they have in shaping the future of journalism, so I was pleased to share my thoughts with the Accreditation Council and the journalism educators who were present. (more…)

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A recent post that I wrote included some hearty debate in the comments between Tim O’Brien of the New York Times and me (with several other people weighing in). That debate for a couple weeks didn’t include the person whose post launched the discussion, Chris O’Brien (no relation to Tim apparently) of the San Jose Mercury News.

Chris was gone to Yosemite (lucky fellow) for a week when the debate originally broke out. Then an illness further delayed his response. While I approved his comment this morning, I wanted to use it in a separate post, partly to give it greater prominence and partly so I can respond to some specific points.

I should note that this debate is really about a secondary point of my post a couple weeks ago. I argued that the Original Sin of the newspaper industry in the early days of the World Wide Web was not failing to charge for content, as Newsosaur blogger Alan Mutter has written, but failing to innovate in how we served businesses. I think this is a much more serious issue than the one Tim and Chris and I are debating: why readers buy the newspaper and how much they are paying for it. But nonetheless, this is an important and interesting issue, so I gladly highlight it again. (By the way, I’m planning another post soon about another huge mistake we made early in the digital age, and what we need to do to avoid repeating that mistake.) (more…)

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Being the spouse of a young editor at a morning newspaper doesn’t carry a lot of perks, unless you like being alone in the evening. I thought I had delivered a perk to Mimi in 1980 when I was an editor on the city desk of The Des Moines Register.

The Register was going to be hosting the only debate before the Iowa caucuses between President Jimmy Carter and his Democratic challenger, Sen. Edward Kennedy. (California Gov. Jerry Brown wanted in, but Register Editor Jim Gannon said he needed to be campaigning seriously in Iowa, and he wasn’t. Brown eventually campaigned and Ganon relented, but Brown remained largely a sideshow to the Carter-Kennedy race.)

The obituaries and eulogies for Kennedy today focus on his long career in the Senate and on the tragedies of his family and personal life more than on that one run for the White House. But at the time, it was a huge deal that the last of the Kennedy brothers was challenging the sitting president for the Democratic nomination.  (more…)

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OK, I couldn’t resist, when @OliviaMitchell tweeted about a web site that lets you have Albert Einstein write your message, I had to give it a try:

Einstein

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I was busy enough in June that I didn’t take time to blog about an interesting social-media experience. But when a similar thing happened this week, I decided it was time to take note.

I can’t recall how I first learned about TripIt, though it probably was from Mark Briggs, who was my first TripIt contact. I had already joined Dopplr, a travel-oriented social tool co-founded by my friend Dan Gillmor (who was a reporter assigned to me at the Kansas City Times before he became a new-media star). I travel a lot, so I figured I would try them both out and see which one I liked better. (more…)

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I am pleased to be involved this week in a discussion of ways to transform the news business. Nothing could be more important for our industry now and I will be discussing this topic Thursday at 2 p.m. Eastern time (1 p.m. Central) in a live chat hosted by the American Society of News Editors. (more…)

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I am excited about the New Business Models for News project.

Not that I think they got it right. My first two comments on their site after they released their models and spreadsheets of financial figures for the first three years were critical. But what they do have right is the approach of openly consulting with the industry, responding collaboratively to critics and thinking differently about where the revenue for future news business models will come from. I’m hopeful that they will get it right.

I don’t like yesterday’s post, New Organizations, New Relationships, because it quoted me and linked to my blog, though I appreciated that. I like it because of the collaborative approach and the open mind. I like that it  advocates new relationships with businesses that go beyond selling advertising. (more…)

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